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Introducing the BDO Business Review Program

18 July 2017

Original content provided by BDO New Zealand

BDO New Zealand is excited to announce the launch of their new Business Review Program. We caught up with BDO New Zealand's Head of Advisory, Adam Davy, and Advisory Associate, Andrew MacDonell, to talk about the new tool and find out exactly how it can help BDO's clients succeed.


So, who is the Business Review Program for?

"The program is for small to medium-sized, independently managed enterprises, with multiple owners who are heavily involved in the decision-making process. This SME growth market is what BDO do best - we know it's hard to get that much-needed independent advice when you don't have your own existing board structures, which is why we aim to provide it ourselves.

Over the years, we've seen a lot of businesses of this sort striving to move forward. They acknowledge that they need a plan for this, but don't actually look at where their business is currently sitting. This is what the Business Review Program is for; whether you want to grow, retain market share or even explore exit options, it's important that you have a good idea of what's going on in your business now.

Sometimes this can be difficult when you have more than one stakeholder. We appreciate how important it is to have different ideas and skills in business, but these need to eventually come together if you want to move forward. If your business is suffering from misalignment, it's going to be difficult to achieve the goals you've set. So, one of the main components of the program is to measure the degree of alignment among the different stakeholders on key issues.

The idea is that once these have been laid out on the table, you'll be able to have a real discussion and eventually come to resolutions on how to move forward."

It's hard for businesses to make decisions when they don't have an independent board to help.


How does the Business Review Program work?

The Business Review Program isn't the end, it's the beginning.

"The first stage of the process is a questionnaire - you either do a shorter version which will give you a diagnostic and a heat map, or a longer one that takes around an hour but will really drill down into the nitty-gritty of your business. The questionnaire will work best if each stakeholder does it independently of the others, and from there we'll be able to see the key issues currently facing your business, and the degree of alignment on each one. We'll use this to run a diagnostic and produce a detailed report for the client.

These areas of pressure could be anything from tax, wanting to sell, not making enough money, not getting on with your fellow partners - the list goes on. The important thing about this process isn't just that we produce a report, but that we'll sit down with you and help you create a tailored solution to whatever the issues are.

The Business Review Program isn't the end, it's the beginning. After this initial meeting we'll develop an ongoing relationship, so we can meet regularly and discuss your business's key performance indicators(KPIs) and how those are going against the plans and actions we've agreed to."

The questionnaire is the first stage of the process.


How has the Business Review Program already helped your clients to achieve their goals?

"There are two cases that have really stood out for me so far. The first was a medium-sized business operating in the IT space. They had two shareholders, one minority and the other majority, but there was serious misalignment on who their target market actually was. We used the Business Review Program to agree on a target market (in this case they decided there were more than enough consumers in New Zealand and so stopped chasing deals in Australia) and since then they've gone from strength to strength.

The other case involved a husband and wife partnership. The program helped them realise that they wanted to leave the business, so had to make sure it could still run without them. We helped them to clarify which parts of the business needed work and so their exit strategy was ultimately successful."


Why has BDO created the Business Review Program?

The Business Review Program is a stepping stone to an ongoing relationship between us and our clients.

"The owner-managed or privately owned target client for this has been our area of expertise for years - but the creation of the Business Review Program gives it a formal, structured way to help these clients achieve their goals. It introduces a proven framework within BDO that brings a range of methodologies together.

We also want to show the practical side of accounting - so many people think it's just about compliance, but there's a huge advisory aspect that often gets forgotten. We can help a client to diagnose their issues and create a tailored way to solve them, and that's why we see it as a stepping stone to an ongoing relationship between us and our clients."


If you're interested in the Business Review Program, contact us here or call through to one of our friendly team on 0800 249 738.